Business bullish on BC

A provincewide survey reveals strong confidence in B.C.'s business community.

The B.C. Chamber of Commerce survey showed 92 per cent of respondents believe their businesses are in good or acceptable shape. And four out of five expect to grow their businesses over the next five years.

Nearly 1,200 businesses of all sizes, representing all sectors and regions participated in the survey.

Respondents expressed that many sectors of B.C.’s economy will become “more important” over the next five to 10 years, with tourism, clean technology, international trade and health services emerging as the top sectors.

“This pan-provincial snapshot offers a unique look into the hearts and minds of B.C. businesses,” said Val Litwin, chamber president and CEO. “We hope this survey will be useful to all parties heading into the provincial election.”

Asked “what matters to business success,” respondents identified four top priorities:

Taxes – "B.C. already boasts competitive taxes, however it is clear that our network is looking for continued improvement. The chamber advocates for a made-in-B.C. value-added tax at the provincial level, as well as a more competitive property tax rate at the local level," a chamber report on the survey states.

Regulations – "The best way to make business easy is by cutting red tape. The chamber network remains focused on tackling this issue by finding ways to streamline regulations."

Access to labour – "B.C.’s businesses must have access to the skill and talent they need to grow their businesses. Our network has expressed the need for both the provincial and federal government to continue allocating resources into timely access to labour."

Cost of labour – "The cost of labour is usually a company’s largest expense, particularly for small businesses. While the provincial government works diligently to balance cost pressures with tax relief for business, issues like minimum wage increases continue to create challenges. For BC Chamber members, the answer is centred on certainty and predictability."

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